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Top 3 Online Tools You Need to Track Your Social Media Growth

Tracking your Social Media

Do you know how to track your social media?

Social media is becoming increasingly important as a way for businesses to connect with buyers, prospects, and the market. As social media grows, it will become critical for businesses to brand themselves and build relationships as part of the sales and marketing process. Social media marketing can be a great way for brands to start conversations with their users, but it can also be a time suck. It’s very important for businesses to understand what it is that they want to track and how social media fits into their overall business strategy.

Facebook Insight

Facebook Insights is an excellent free analytics tool built right into Facebook that allows you to track trends among your fans and see how they are interacting with your page. Insights is split into two main sections: users and interactions.

Users give you lots of basic demographic information about your fans, as well as show top referrers to your page.

Interactions can be a real goldmine, offering deep analytics into the updates you’ve made to your page and how users have interacted with it.

You can see which content has been most popular and which tanked, which helps understand what fans like to see on your page. Site owners with Like buttons on their sites can use Insights to see how many people saw the button, clicked on it, and how they got to the page.

Social Mention

Social Mention is a real-time search engine for social media. It’s a great tool for tracking buzz about your firm, product, or launch through Twitter, Facebook, forums, blogs, and other social media sites. A widget shows statistics over time like number of retweets, unique authors, as well as twists like the relative passion of the sentiment about your brand. Social media stats are broken down by content type, so you can see where the most attention is coming from. You can also sign up for emails to alert you whenever a keyword comes up in social content.

Not only is the world’s most popular url shortening tool, it is also an excellent way to use analytics to track link clicks and user behavior. This kind of information would usually not be available if the link were to a social site or to one on which you didn’t have access to the analytics software. However, creating a account gives you access to its full-fledged analytics suite, showing top referrers, historical data, and more. You can use their shortening service without having an account, but then you’d be missing out on all that analytical goodness.


Social media tracking is important. This list is only to get you thinking about how your business uses social media and how you can begin to track all those tweets and blog mentions. It’s important to analyze the data once you’ve gotten it. If social media isn’t directly helping your bottom line, it may be time to re-think your strategy. Above all, use your analytics to better engage and interact with your audience.

Ashyia Hill is a social media advocate at the small business credit cards comparison website, CreditDonkey.  Do you have any social media analytics tools that have helped you grow your business? Let us know in the comments!

Is buying Twitter followers the answer?

A piggy bank with a coin with the twitter bird being deposited

Are your followers really real, or are they bought? Can they be both?

You created a Twitter account. You learned to tweet. You started following people, and some started to follow you back. But you see other tweeps who have thousands of followers compared to your hundred. The green-eyed monster rears its big green head and you want that many followers too. So what do you do? Many people go out and buy them.

Buying followers is not the answer.

There are many services out there that will let you buy followers.  I say to people, a little tongue-in-cheek, that for $100 I could have 10,000 followers tomorrow.  Ok, it would be a bit more than $100 and it might take a week, but I could still get them.  The problem with buying Twitter followers is that it is like an infomercial kitchen gadget. It looks good on TV but is actually useless, breaks when you use it and you’ll never get your money back. Metaphorically speaking, looking like you have 10,000 fans overnight is great, on the surface. Instant popularity. The reality is that it is hollow (warning, here comes another metaphor); it is like a bad one night stand.  Not only is it meaningless, there is no satisfaction.

  • Bought followers do not read your tweets.
  • They do not retweet you.
  • Bought followers do not know who you are.
  • They are not necessarily even people!
  • Bought followers will never be clients or customers.
  • And they will not click your links.

    Bought followers may make your numbers look good but in all probability they will  not benefit your long-term objectives. If you want real engagement, click-throughs, retweets, people who help grow your network, read your tweets and possibly give you business, you have to do it organically. It is slower, but the payoff is much bigger.

    This said, I will admit here that not all the follower buying sites out there are useless, some of the better ones offer to connect you with targeted followers and users, which is not the same as buying randomly in bulk.  Ultimately Twitter is about engagement. Sure, you can purchase as many followers as you can afford, but if you are not participating in the discussion you will not receive any authentic benefits.

    10 reasons why I won’t follow you

    A drawing of a sheep with a caption that says, don't follow me I haven't got a clueYesterday I talked about who I follow on Twitter. But a more important question might be, who don’t I follow?  Why wouldn’t I follow you?

    Once a week I look at my new followers. This is when I make my decision about whether or not I am going to follow them.

    10 Reasons I won’t follow back:

    1. Your account is obviously Spam
      If you follow hundreds, or thousands of people and only have 2 tweets.  Yeah…spam.
    2. Zero engagement
      If all your tweets are about spreadng your message and there are no interactions with other people, then I am not interested in following you.
    3. Inappropriate content
      If your content is not suitable for my network.
    4. All you do is sell
      Even if you engage with people, but all you try to do is sell, that tells me you are not here for the relationships.
    5. Your tweets are abrasive
      If your tweets are aggressive or generally rude….not following
    6. Not interesting
      If your profile is not in my field and is not a topic that interests me, or if your tweets are really boring. I have followed many people who do not tweet about topics I am interested in, but because their tweets are engaging or funny, I will follow.
    7. You generally make no sense
      If your tweets don’t make sense, i.e. the sentence structure is really badly worded, for example: you dun not cuz we R friends. No, we’re not.
    8. I don’t speak your language
      If I don’t speak your language I am not going to follow you.  In case you are wondering, there are three languages I will follow. 🙂
    9. Advertisements
      I don’t like it when people advertise on their Twitter. If I see that you do a lot of paid tweets, I won’t follow you.
    10. Bad Bio
      If your bio is bad, off-putting or not engaging this can be a deciding factor.

    3 Ways Investors Use Social Media (and how it will help raise $$$)

    Birds nest with rolled up money inside and teh Twitter bird sitting on the edge of the nestAny entrepreneur would agree that social media has changed the way business is done. It has broken down barriers between businesses and their customers, and provided organizations a new forum for presenting their brand. Social media has allowed businesses to develop their voice, and build and cultivate a strong relationship with their market (vs. simply trying to sell to them).

    Often overlooked is the fact that it has also changed the way potential investors go about the due diligence process, network and make their investment decisions. By understanding how investors use social media, you will help improve your chances of securing funding.

    If you are in need of capital pay attention….. As you read through the points below, ask yourself – is your current social media situation going to help or hinder?

    1) Evaluate the 3C’s: culture, compatibility and credibility; all three of these are important variables an investor considers, when deciding whether or not to fund a company. Social media allows an intimate view of the status and viability of the company, their brand and the way they interact with consumers.

    2) Relationship Building: The investor is able to engage in casual conversations with the company (and its leaders) to start developing a relationship and evaluate personal chemistry. Looking at a founder’s (or team members) tweets can give a strong sense of who they really are and how they conduct themselves. An investor can gather a sense of their personality as well as their skills (which should serve to further support the 3C’s). Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow investors to look up the entrepreneur’s profiles, figure out if they already know them in some capacity, or if they have a common connection that can give them the real scoop about who they are and what they do.

    3) Deal Flow: Deal flow refers to a pipeline of opportunities. Because of the ease of entry and low cost, social media is often the first place new startups go to further their business development goals. This gives investors a platform from which to observe emerging businesses, evaluate their potential and monitor their growth (often before the company has emerged on the general radar).

    The good news is……… investors are watching.

    The bad news is……… investors are watching.

    So, make sure you’re transparent and provide them the information they need in order to see what a great investment your company is!

    Photo of Laura K. PetrolinoLaura Petrolino is Managing Director of Flying Pig Communications, a communications and business consulting firm which focuses on the needs of startups, small business and non-profits. She also serves as Chief Communications Officer at Ignite Venture Partners, which brings together consulting, capital and concept incubation to build value in businesses of all sizes and in all stages, and across industries. Find her on twitter @lkpetrolino and @365startups


    Laura is a great writer and a great advisor.  Be sure to check out her blog!

    Top 7 Ways to Use Cyber Monday to Grow your Social Media & Make the Sale

    What could be bigger than Black Friday?  Cyber Monday.  This has been the Internet’s alternative to the biggest shopping day of the year.  However, the popularity and reach of social media has the potential to really make Cyber Monday a huge selling phenomenon.

    From a business perspective this is an excellent way to work on your social media efficacy.

    1. Promote your promotions!

      Tell people that you are going to offer special deals just for Twitter and Facebook. Build the buzz around what you are going to do.

    2. Use your upcoming deals as a way to grow your network.

      Tell people to spread the word. Use growth benchmarks to give special secret deals, like “When I hit 500 fans I will give away a ….”

    3. Exclusive Deals

      On Monday, offer special deals that are only available on Facebook and Twitter.

    4. Post deals constantly throughout the day.

      This will encourage people to stay tuned to your updates. You can even schedule these tweets so they keep coming on a regular basis and you can focus on engaging with your new and massively growing network!

    5. Set up an auto-DM

      Create a one day direct message that sends a promo code to new followers….and promote the fact that you are doing this.

    6. Re-Tweet Promotions

      Tell your followers that you will do a special giveaway to the people who retweet your offers.

    7. Get people to blog about you

      Tell people if they blog about your deals and your business that you will give them a special deal or promo code that will last beyond Cyber Monday.  This way you carry your promotions longer.  You can even promote that between your Cyber Monday promotions on Monday!

    Shop till you Tweet!…Black Friday on social media

    Twitter bird tweeting the dollar sign

    Black Friday is notoriously the biggest shopping day of the year and social media will not be excluded as a participant. But how is social media promoting it? Black Friday ads, Black Friday sales, Black Friday shopping! Are you shopping your tweets? Tweeting your shopping?

    All you have to do is search “Black Friday” and you will see all the websites that are collecting sales information to become your personal Black Friday clearing house.  However, websites are not the only way you can learn about the special deals.  In fact, they might not even be the best way.

    The best way to find some of the Black Friday deals might just be through Facebook and Twitter.

    Many storeslike Staples and Walmart have been leaking their Black Friday deals over Twitter and Facebook for days, getting their friends and followers primed for shopping deal bonanzas.

    If you search #blackfriday you will find an unending stream of tweets about deals and savings you can find online and in stores.  There is even a twitter account that is streaming Black Friday deals from all over the web and the twitterverse, @blackfriday.

    If you do a search on Facebook for Black Friday you will not only find some pages that are listing sales but you will see what  Black Friday posts your friends are making.  This is actually a great way to see what deals your friends are sharing and what deals the pages you like are offering,

    Many pages have been posting Black Friday deals, but because of the newsfeed optimization, or the time you get on your facebook, there are posts you might be missing.  Do a search for Black Friday and see what your friends and the pages you like have been offering.

    If you are up for a shopping excursion, this may be the best way to find the best deals that are actually relevant to you.

    Of course, outside of access to really cool deals, this is a great opportunity as a business to expand your reach and test your marketing.  Offering deals to twitter and Facebook fans is a great way to grow your network and test the efficacy of your reach.

    …and if you didn’t do it for Black Friday you still have time for Cyber Monday!

    Protected Tweets are bad for business

    twitter bird behind jail baars

    I recently went to re-tweet someone’s post and received a warning:

    Warning: This tweet is from a protected user

    I was taken aback!  This is someone who is in the public eye. Why on earth would they protect their tweets?

    If you are wondering what a protected tweet is, it is essentially a private profile on Twitter.  It means that only approved people can see your tweets.

    This is fine if you are just an individual and you don’t want the bots to get you, or the porn spam, or the regular spam. Maybe you tweet content that you don’t want certain people to see, or content that you only want to share with some people.

    However, if you are a public figure or just using your Twitter for business, then having protected tweets is counter-productive. Your goal is to get people to follow you. Increasing your followers, increasing participation and improving your business networking opportunities are all centered around interactions.  If people can’t interact with you, or even see your posts, then what is the point?

    Because I am on the “approved” list, I can see this person’s tweets.  But this tweep just missed a networking opportunity. I was going to re-tweet something interesting and engaging.  Maybe some of my followers would have started following this person because I facilitated an introduction.

    I could have decided to re-tweet anyway. However, it would have only been visible to the other people who follow this person. So I abstained.

    Re-tweet lost. Networking lost. Opportunity lost.

    What a shame.

    Facebook gets in bed with Microsoft

    Mircrosoft logo shaped like lips sip off a cup branded by FacebookThe new Facebook email shot out of the gates on Monday as the announcement went live.  I have written extensively about the features and functionality of the new Facebook “Not-Mail” messaging system.

    Since the news broke, people immediately started asking if the new Facebook mail is going to replace traditional email.  Although Zuckerberg is claiming that this is not Facebook’s goal, the recent struggles between Facebook and Google may indicate that it is indded what they are trying to do.

    Regardless, the first big issue that Facebook mail is going to face is Spam. The second issue is turning their back on Adobe…and, well, everyone not Microsoft.

    What do I mean by this?

    One of the basic functions of an email, beyond communicating, is sending attachments.  We send documents, powerpoints, pdf’s, photos and other various and sundry items to each other via email.  If you are in business, being able to send attachments is an extremely important part of your communications.

    Facebook is allowing attachments, however they are only allowing attachments from Microsoft.  So if you are sending a .doc, .ppt or .xls then you should be fine.  However, if you want to send a .pdf you are out of luck.  You heard me right, you cannot send a pdf via Facebook mail.

    The reason Facebook is excluding everything other than Microsoft is because they are getting a benefit that other email programs, like gmail, are not.  You can view your attachments, in completion, online and without downloading them. This is a special privilege that Microsoft is giving Facebook for attachment exclusivity.

    So the question is: does the benefit of viewing your documents without downloading outweigh the pitfalls or inconvenience of not being able to attach anything other than Microsoft?

    Facebook Not-Mail: Part 5 The opposite of preferred is Spam?

    Cartoon with a man saying "You should check your email more often, I fired you three weeks ago."

    There is one glaring issue with the new Facebook email – spam.  There is no spam folder, only an “other” folder. Though we might tend to think this is the same thing, it isn’t. The “other” folder is really meant to filter emails that do not belong in your preferred email box, like bills, newsletters, and annoying friends who only send you forwards with inspirational quotes, etc.  The preferred box is supposed to be for people you really want to hear from. However the opposite of preferred is not spam.

    The first part of your email address is your vanity URL.  So if you are  then will be your email address. These URL’s are crawlable by spam bots which means that any spam bot will easily be able to figure out your email address.

    Any spam emails will automatically be put into the “other” box. So, now are you at risk of missing those emails that aren’t spam but aren’t preferred?